The minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, on Thursday morning confirmed that a doctor in Port Harcourt has died from the Ebola disease, while his wife has also tested positive to the virus.
The minister said that the doctor, Iyke Enemoah, who died last Friday had treated a diplomat who had contact with Patrick Sawyerr, the index case who imported the disease into the country on July 20.
Tests conducted on the diplomat, a staff of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, indicated that he is a recovered Ebola patient. The minister said that the diplomat beat airport health and security surveillance and travelled from Lagos to Port Harcourt where Enomoah treated him.
“Even though presently he does not have EVD but further laboratory tests indicate that he had suffered EVD,” Chukwu said of the diplomat.
“This primary contact of Mr. Sawyer’s evaded our surveillance team in the last week of July 2014 and travelled out of Lagos to Port Harcourt where, as we now understand, he consulted with a doctor and was apparently treated for some symptoms. After four days, following a manhunt for him, he returned to Lagos by which time he was found to be without symptoms,” he explained further.
Enemoah’s death is the first fatality from Ebola recorded outside Lagos and the sixth so far. Along with his wife, they bring the total number of recorded Ebola cases in the country to 15
Chukwu said that the wife of the late doctor has been quarantined in an unnamed hospital in Port Harcourt while more than 70 persons who have had contact with them have been placed under surveillance to watch if they will manifest symptoms of the disease.